Robin Hood Movie Review: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx Make it a Funny Retelling
Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan
Director: Otto Bathurst
Robin Hood, which claims to be the lesser-known story about the good-hearted robber in its very first scene, is an over-dramatic and mostly a drab version of the same old story we have been hearing over the years. The only new thing director Otto Bathurst has tried in this film is archery techniques. Just the action scenes work in this retelling of the heroic rebel Robin Loxley (Taron Egerto) and the tyrant Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn).
Bathurst has tried to add layers to Hood’s ally Little John (Jamie Foxx), but it’s mostly a wasted effort as Foxx seems more concerned about bringing his dry humour and untamed machismo to the fore than actually contributing something to the story. You can cut him in half but not his spirit.
Actually, Robin Hood is no different than films like Bloodsport, Never Back Down or any other combat movie. It follows the formula so strictly that you start missing Clint Eastwood as Robin’s trainer. He might have added some depth to John’s character.
Marian (Eve Hewson) is another weak link in the story. Robin seems preoccupied with her even when delivering a moving speech right before the final battle. Oh, and they kiss, at the most unlikely place, in front of assassin archers waiting for them to get done and move on. He quite literally risks everything for love, including the film’s believability.
Then there are obnoxious dialogues about the church and how priests plan to use it for power and greed. You don’t say such things my lordship, especially when there are only two people in the room and both of them are complying with the same plan.
Will Scarlet’s (Jamie Dornan) mood swings don’t help either. One moment he is all for the people and in the next, he is ready to betray them without any apparent provocation. Talking of quick escalations, Ben Mendelsohn’s corrupt Sheriff beats them all. He can cross raging fire for his money and he prefers to do so in slow motion. His unidirectional character is too uncooked to leave any impact.
So, what’s good and watchable in Robin Hood? The brilliantly choreographed archery show. It’s well-thought and can give you cheap thrills. Though you mistake it for films based on American snipers, charging towards the potential threat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Hand-held camera, extreme close ups and a person peeping down the alley, you know what I mean.
Robin Hood doesn’t deliver what it promises.
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